28 August 2019

Access to emicizumab will be expanded to benefit more patients with haemophilia A in England, it was announced last week.

It is expected that about 2,000 patients in England – many of them children – will be eligible to receive the drug, NHS England said.

The drug, sold as Hemlibra, mimics the action of factor VIII and can be given as a single injection weekly or fortnightly. NHS England said parents would find it easier than giving Factor VIII infusions.

Previously, emicizumab was only available to people with haemophilia A with inhibitors, since July 2018. However, the new announcement means that patients with severe haemophilia A without inhibitors can now benefit from the drug.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “Giving patients access to world class, trailblazing drugs and therapies is a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan which aims to save thousands more lives.

“This treatment has the potential to significantly improve the lives of people with haemophilia, especially children – reducing treatment time and even ending the dangerous bleeds which can lead to life-threatening cuts and life-changing damage.”

The news was welcomed by the Haemophilia Society. Commenting on the announcement, chief executive Liz Carroll said: “This decision is fantastic news for our community.  Current treatments can require intravenous infusions multiple times a week which can place a significant burden on people with haemophilia and their carers. 

“This decision will mean that people will have the opportunity to have treatment less frequently without intravenous access which will enable many to live their lives more freely.”

Source: NHS England: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/08/life-changing-drug-to-stop-deadly-bleeding-available-on-the-nhs/


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